South Africa’s Lara van Niekerk faces one of the biggest tests in her career on Sunday at 13:09 when she takes on the new world record holder, Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania, in the finals of the 50m breaststroke at the World Swimming Championships in Fukoeaka. , Japan, line up.
Van Niekerk was first in her semi-finals on Saturday, but her time was the third fastest time of the two semi-finals.
Van Niekerk won her semi-finals in 29.91 seconds, followed by Quanting Tang of China (30.12) and Eneli Jefimova of Estonia (30.22).
Some time later, in the other semi-finals, Meilutyte set a new world record of 29.30, with America’s Lilly King second (29.70) and Benedetta Pilato from Italy third (30.09).
Van Niekerk swims in lane three next to Meilutyte.
Saturday’s other big highlights were delivered by the American Katie Ledecky when she won the 800 m freestyle. It was her 16th world title which is one better than that of her compatriot Michael Phelps.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom was also in the spotlight when she won the 50m butterfly in 24.77 seconds. It was her fifth consecutive gold medal in this event and she joined Phelps (200m butterfly), Katinka Hosszu (400m individual medley) and Ledecky (800m and 1500m freestyle) who also previously accomplished
The 29-year-old Australian Cameron McEvoy won his first gold medal on the spot when he was first in the 50 m freestyle. He is the oldest member of the Australian team and the oldest participant in the championship series who was able to win a gold medal.
Then his compatriot Kaylee McKeown won a third gold medal when she was first in the 200 m backstroke in a time of 2:03.85. She also finished first in the 50 m and 100 m backstroke earlier in the week.